Commenting on President Obama’s address during the memorial service for the five police officers killed in Dallas, one writer said something to the effect of —- in the first ten minutes President Obama’s address he delivered one of the finest speeches he has ever given — then he ruined it by speaking for 25 minutes more.
With all going on in our country following slayings in Baton Rouge & Minneapolis — and then the killing of the five law enforcement officials — words are not enough, there are not enough words, we cannot ever find the RIGHT words.
Last week I started to write a letter to the editor, then I chose not to do so —- more words. I did not write a blog — more words. As Bishop T.D. Jakes of the “Potter’s House” in Dallas said, “I am frustrated and fatigued.” We can all probably say the same thing —- we are tired and frustrated. We do not want to listen to more news reports and “talking heads”. We know something is wrong — but feel helpless in solving the problem.
Like Mary —- we need to choose to sit at the feet of Jesus and to listen …. to stop talking and to listen. And maybe we who are white need to listen to those who are Black and those who are Black need to listen to those who are White …… listening without interruption —- listening without judging — listening without holding our breath until we could respond. Instead of telling the other fella what s/he should do — listening to what Jesus — listening to what the other has to say to us.
What does he have to say to me?
To the men and women in blue?
To the young Black Man?
To the young White Man?
I cannot imagine that he would say, “throw stones”, “burn buildings”, “yell at one another at the top of your lungs”, “arm yourselves and get ready for war”, “get revenge”, “call each other names”. Nope — just can’t imagine Jesus saying that. Hate thy neighbor? Never. Despise those who are different? Never.
We have created an ever growing list of labels to describe people — use to be man and woman — black and white — Catholic and Protestant —-then there came middle class and upper class — educated and illiterate — gay and straight — now transgender — now Muslim —- now Hispanic — we use labels and we see the label instead of the person.
I am limiting myself to one hour of national news per day. I am so tired of Clinton and Trump — Democrats and Republicans — blue and red states — and polls. England seems to be ahead of us in one area for sure — a leader tenders his resignation and 15 days later, there is a new Prime Minister.
Labels divide us and when we are divided we compete and we fight. We think of ways to get even, to get ahead, to dominate.
Is it possible that when the Lord comes to us next year at this time that he will note that we have created something new? Will he celebrate with us that there is new life all around? To Abraham and Sarah came the miracle of a child. To us can come the miracle of a new way of being.
I have lived from a place of privilege — I have been blessed with so much. Many, many doors have been opened for me. I do not apologize. But now comes the challenge to us what has been given to me to help others — to be healed and to heal. To give and forgive — to control anger and to withhold judgment. Life is tough for so many people — to make it more tough is just downright evil. And one cannot live in evil or do evil and hope to live in the justice of the Lord.
Words are useless.